The president of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, professor Louise Newman, is calling for restrictions on media saying the self-regulation of advertising and other media has failed to protect children.

Newman said sexualised images were now an inescapable part of a child’s environment, referencing OOH, TVCs and magazine covers.

“Several strategies are recommended to prevent the further proliferation of sexualised images of children. These include media regulation and psychoeducational approaches… These strategies aim to develop healthy sexual development and body image in the face of media representation. School based media literacy programs have been found to have a positive effect on body image concerns in girls,” said Newman.

“Parenting programs should also encompass approaches to supervision of children’s media exposure and education of children about media representation.”